The Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library will holds its annual Summer Reading Club June 7 to Aug. 2.

The Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library will holds its annual Summer Reading Club June 7 to Aug. 2.

Kim Snell, marketing communications coordinator for the Columbus Metropolitan Libraries, said the club is held at all branches and is designed to keep students interested in reading and literacy during the summer months, she said.

"Most studies show that most kids lose two months worth of academic knowledge during the summer," she said. The program "offers them the opportunity to enjoy the mentally stimulating programs, and of course, instills a love of reading."

The events will include "Chulo the Clown," who speaks both English and Spanish, appearing at 11 a.m. on June 14. The "Art of Mehndi" is slated at 7 p.m. June 17, when students will apply temporary henna tattoos. It's a class where students will learn about the history of the symbols and what they mean, Snell said.

"The Mad Scientist" will visit the library at 11 a.m. June 21 and will demonstrate the laws of motion. Another program will feature "Animals We Love to Hate," creatures such as bats, spiders and snakes. This event will teach facts about how the animals are beneficial.

Norwich Township firefighters will visit the library at 11 a.m. June 28. They will bring a fire truck and other equipment.

More than 100 total programs will be offered free. Detail on all programs be found by clicking on the "events" page at www.columbuslibrary.org.

Online activities will be operational June 1 at summereadingclub.com.

Snell said not all programs will put a book in someone's hand. Many work to create an interest in something, so students will seek out a book to learn more.

Amy McLanahan, youth services team leader for the Hilliard branch of the library, said game boards have been designed as an incentive for reading in the program.

"It's a fun approach to move through the spaces. You have to complete a literacy activity such as reading or attending a program," she said. Each time a literacy-based task is completed, she said, the participant can move forward one space on a board.

Both adults and youngsters can play on game boards. She said the game boards for adults focus more on reading than those for students.

There's even a game board for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

"Summer Reading Club is not just for kids who know how to read," McLanahan said. "A parent can work with a child, read to them and emphasize ready-to-read skills," she said.

She encourages parents of very young children to sing songs to them, read nursery rhymes, talk about shapes and tell stories about their day to their kids.

"Those things all count toward Summer Reading Club," she said. "It's getting a child ready to read, it's the way they learn language and learn skills they'll need to be prepared how to read," she said.

She said people of all ages can enter a raffle to win prizes, such as bicycles for children, Blue Jackets tickets for adults and coupon books for places like Wendy's and Taco Bell.

Participating last year were 8,468 students 11 years old and younger, 1,096 teens 12 to17 and 1,517 adults.

Snell said it's easy for people to get involved.

"All they have to do is go to their local branch and sign up," she said.